A network security foundation is a set of foundational technologies and practices that can be used to secure your network. The goal of any network security foundation is to reduce risk, improve operational efficiency and ensure compliance with company standards. To build a solid foundation that is capable of securing your business against current threats, you must first understand what its purpose is (that’s where this guide comes in handy).

Vulnerability Management

Vulnerability Management is a process to identify, assess, and prioritize vulnerabilities in your environment. Vulnerabilities are weaknesses in systems, networks, or applications that can be exploited by malicious actors. This process is part of the Cyber Security Framework (CSF).

The goal of this section is to provide an overview of how you can build a foundation for managing vulnerabilities with your organization using OVAL as well as some best practices for implementing OVAL within your organization.

Access Control

When you’re building your network security foundation, the first thing to do is identify and classify all the data in your organization. This includes figuring out which files are public, which are private or confidential, and which need special access controls (like HIPAA).

Next comes defining who should have access to what data–and how they get it. For example: If a new employee joins us as VP of Marketing, I’ll want them immediately able to see our marketing analytics reports; but they won’t be able to see any customer emails until they’ve gone through orientation training with HR.

Once we’ve identified who can see what information when it comes time for them to leave our company or change roles within it (or before), we’ll need an easy way for everyone involved–HR staff included–to manage their own access control settings without having their hand held every step of the way by IT staff members who may not even exist yet!

Incident Response

  • Incident Response Plan
  • Incident Response Team
  • Incident Response Processes
  • Incident Response Training

Threat Detection

Threat detection is the first step in the incident response process. A threat is any event or activity that can cause harm to an organization’s IT systems. Threats can be natural (such as a hurricane) or man-made (such as a cyberattack). Once you’ve detected a threat, it’s time to respond!


Forensics is the process of examining computer files and network traffic to determine the cause of a security breach. The goal is to find out what happened, when it happened, and how it happened by gathering evidence from a network.

Compliance Requirements & Standards (NIST 800-53, ISO 27001 and many more)

There are a number of compliance requirements and standards. These include:

  • NIST 800-53
  • ISO 27001
  • PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard)

If you don’t have a plan, you’re more at risk to a breach.

If you don’t have a plan, you’re more at risk to a breach.

That’s because without one, it will be harder for your IT team to know what needs to be done in order to protect the network and its assets. A good network security foundation plan should address three things: flexibility, ease of implementation and maintenance, and simplicity.


We hope this article has helped you get started on building your network security foundation. The next step is to take these principles and apply them to your organization’s unique needs. You may need to make some adjustments depending on how much time and money is available, but at least now you have a starting point!